211 Data: Austin-area residents struggling to make ends meet

We believe that every Texas family has the right to live a safe and healthy life. That means stable housing, nutritious food on the table, and access to a good education and training for the jobs of today . . . and tomorrow. Recent data from the United Way of Greater Austin’s 211 Navigation Center […]

2013 Lege–College Access & Success

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

This session, the Economic Opportunity team has been tracking legislation that will affect financial aid, developmental and adult basic education, and career readiness and skills development. We are closely monitoring attempts to limit financial grant aid to students who need it most. Even though current financial aid programs expand access for many low-income students to […]

Restoring Education Should Take Priority

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I testified “on” SB 758 in a Senate Finance committee hearing because there are compelling reasons for and against undoing the Foundation School Program deferral – Deferring the FSP payment prevented even further cuts to public education last session.  Undoing this deferment now would make this tool available again the next time there is […]

When It Comes to Charters, It Should Be Quality over Quantity

Chandra Villanueva

The charter school reforms offered in SB 2 put quantity ahead of quality in the name of offering school choice. Choice, flexibility, and innovation are important elements for an education system to successfully prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s workforce. While charter schools play a meaningful role in challenging and expanding our public school options, they […]

Budget & Health Care Presentations Available To Download

Working for a Better Texas

Today, our budget & health care teams hit the Capitol to brief legislators, their staff, and advocates on what makes a better Texas budget and better Texas health care for all families in our state. Thank you to all 165 of you who could attend! If you couldn’t be there in person, we have all […]

Maximizing Access to College for Immigrant Children Builds the Texas Economy

Rachel Cooper

Texans want immigration reform and Congress may soon take up the task. In the meantime, what should the state do with regard to immigration? That is a big question, but whatever happens at the federal level, as we explain in this paper, our state should continue to maximize access to college for immigrant children—whether documented […]

TX Needs Investment in Public Ed, Not Vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

Raise Your Hand Texas released a report on the myths and realities of school vouchers that is worth a a revisit as Senate and House committees debate school vouchers. Every voucher program is different and they go by many different names, but the basic idea is the same—state funding is diverted from public education to […]

What We Heard & Didn’t Hear in the State of the State Speech

Today, the Governor delivered his 7th State of the State speech. Here are some of our takeaways… What we heard: Texas is a job creator. Actually, Texas has the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs that offer no benefits, benefits that help lift families out of poverty or keep them from falling further into poverty. […]

New Tool Highlights What Texas Families Must Earn to Meet Basic Needs

Today we released a new data tool that finds that what a two-parent household with two children in Texas must earn to cover basic expenses like affordable housing, food, child care, and health care ranges from $35,320 a year in Abilene to $50,023 a year in Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos, and that’s without family, community, or […]

SB 1 Is 11% Below What’s Needed for a Better Texas

Today, the Senate Finance committee kicked off public hearings on Senate Bill 1, the proposed state budget for 2014 and 2015. At $89 billion in General Revenue, the Senate’s starting point is 8 percent below a conservative estimate of the $97 billion needed just to keep the “bare bones” budget going while retaining all the […]